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European troubleshooter quits Monsanto

11 December 1998
European troubleshooter quits Monsanto

BIOTECH giant Monsanto suffered another setback today (Friday) after a senior European director announced that he was leaving to “spend more time with his family” …more…



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European troubleshooter quits Monsanto

11 December 1998
European troubleshooter quits Monsanto

By FWi staff

BIOTECH giant Monsanto suffered another setback today (Friday) after a senior European director announced that he was leaving to “spend more time with his family”.

Carlos Joly, who has worked as the companys European troubleshooter for the past year, said he wanted more time with his children in Oslo.

Environmental groups are likely to seize on Mr Jolys departure as another sign that Monsantos European operations are being plagued by bad luck and bad judgement.

Earlier this year, Mr Joly publicly apologised after Monsanto introduced GM soya beans into Europe by mixing GM varieties with conventional beans.

Consumer groups had seen the policy as tantamount to force-feeding GM food to the public.

“Monsanto also made a mistake and we acknowledge it,” said Mr Joly at the time.

“We are not farmers, food manufacturers or food retailers, so we didnt think through to the ultimate consumer.”

Mr Joly said the backlash showed that public opinion in Europe was different to that in the USA where a similar mix of GM and conventional soya raised little concern.

“We will respond by being more open, more informative and more pro-active towards European public opinion,” he said.

But opinion polls in the UK later this year appeared to show no weakening of consumer opposition to GM crops.

One survey, commissioned by the environmental group GeneWatch, showed as many as 77% of the public were opposed GM ingredients in food.

The final straw probably came as late as last month when an internal Monsanto report was leaked to Greenpeace.

The report referred to a “collapse of public support for biotechnology,” the very scenario that Monsanto had expected Mr Joly to reverse.

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